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Ransomware: Hackers demand $50 million in Crypto from Saudi Aramco

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Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm, has had a data leak in which one terabyte (TB) of the company’s data has been collected by hacks and the hackers are demanding $50 million from Aramco to delete the data, which is now being offered on the dark web for a starting negotiable price of $5 million.

What you should know

Saudi Aramco acknowledged the data leak yesterday according to the Associated Press (AP). They stated that they “recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors.”

The company did not disclose the information of the third-party contractor and they did not confirm whether or not the contractor was hacked or got the information through another source.

“We confirm that the release of data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture,” Saudi Aramco added.

The AP also stated that through their investigations and their access to a page on the dark web, they confirm that the amount of data leaked is equivalent to 1 terabyte of data. On the same page, they confirmed that the perpetrators offered Aramco an opportunity to have the data deleted for $50 million in cryptocurrency, while another timer counted down from $5 million, which is likely an effort to pressure the company.

The perpetrators are yet to be unmasked and the Aramco has not shared any other information at this time.

Bottomline

This is not Aramco’s first rodeo with hackers, as the company was a victim of a cyberattack in 2012. The company was attacked by a computer virus called the “Shamoon.” The virus deleted hard drives and after, displayed a picture of a burning American flag on computer screens. The attack was costly to Aramco as they had to shut down their network and destroy over 30,000 computers.

This year, it was reported the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline in May, in which the company paid the hackers knowns as “DarkSide” $5 million but the U.S FBI managed to recover $2.3 million in cryptocurrency of the money paid.

Saudi Aramco is trading at SR34.90, down 0.29% as of the time of writing this report.

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Doctor’s strike: States pay foreign doctors five times higher than Nigerian counterparts – Ngige

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige revealed that some states in Nigeria are employing foreign doctors and pay them five times higher than Nigerian doctors.

The Minister disclosed this in a meeting with the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Dr Muheeba Dankaka and other federal commissioners this week.

He stated that such preferential treatment given to foreigners by some states ahead of Nigerian doctors does not encourage national unity and loyalty and urged the FCC to use its constitutional mandate to promote national unity and loyalty, rather than concentrate its efforts only on the public sector, especially in job recruitment.

What the Minister said

“The constitution did not say that you do only cases in the public sector. There are areas we need you to look into especially where the constitution is silent.

“We have cases where doctors are employed from Egypt, Cuba and Pakistan and they are paid five times what the Nigerian doctor will get if you convert the foreign exchange they use to pay them.

“But in this country, I was here when some of my teachers left from South East to go and teach in the North East at a time. They left because we had enough down there to export to our brothers. They were paid with our local currency and given some other incentives, which at the end of the day make the economy of those states to be alright,” he said.

He added if some people are poor in Nigeria in the poverty index rating, when the Nigerian poverty index is being taken, it will be an aggregate, including those places. “If it is health, when the health parameters are being taken, it is for the whole. So, FCC can go into that area,” he said, urging the FCC to persuade the state governments to open up and advertise those jobs, so that Nigerians can come whether from South-East, South-South or North-Central to fill the gap.

“Our constitution is the supreme law of the land. And any law made by anybody, whether national and state assembly that is in conflict with the constitution is void. So, you people have a strong mandate from the supreme law of the land. I think you should help us build a new country. A country where we will not be talking about hatred because it is some of these perceptions that cannot even be separated from reality that breeds all the discontent and hate speeches we see,” he said.

Earlier this month, President Muhammadu Buhari called on striking health workers in Nigeria to return to work, urging that embarking on industrial action at a time when Nigerians need them the most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.

The President added that the FG was supporting initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and bring more resources to health financing.

“We have many more challenges ahead and much more to do for our large population.

“In this respect, it is important to remind you that, as senior medical personnel and representatives of one of the most respected professional groups in the world, your responsibilities for the health and wellbeing of Nigerians are clear.

“It does not end only with the welfare of your members, but continues with a sense of responsibility for the entire country and its sociopolitical health and national stability,” he added.

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IGP recommends suspension of DCP Abba Kyari over indictment in Hushpuppi’s fraud case

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.

Kyari’s suspension, which was disclosed in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, follows the alleged involvement of the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), with a fraud suspect, Ramon Abbas popularly known in social circles as Hushpuppi.

According to the statement, the IGP noted that the recommendation for suspension which is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

“The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference,” the statement said.

The IGP further directed the constitution of a 4-man Special Investigation Panel to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government and to offer recommendations for further actions on the matter.

“The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.”

In case you missed it

  • U.S Court documents revealed that Hushpuppi arranged to have a former business partner, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested by Abba Kyari after they scammed a Qatari businessman off $1 million.
  • Abba Kyari reacted to the allegation claiming that Hushpuppi’s associate was arrested after his office was called about a potential case of threat to life and that “nobody demanded for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.”
  • See full text of the conversation between the duo as contained in the records of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Nigeria’s largest opposition party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector of General of Police to order the investigation and possible extradition of DCP Abba Kyari to the United States for his alleged involvement Hushpuppi.
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Opposition party demands extradition of DCP Abba Kyari over alleged involvement with Hushpuppi

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Nigeria’s largest opposition party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector of General of Police to order the investigation and possible extradition of DCP Abba Kyari to the United States for his alleged involvement with fraud suspect, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

This was disclosed in a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

What the party is saying

Ologbondiyan said that Kyari’s alleged involvement with a known fraudster compromises his integrity as the head of Nigeria’s Intelligence Response Unit.

His statement read in part:

“Our party demands that the APC administration should not sweep this matter under the carpet given the manifest rapport between Kyari and some top APC leaders.

We urge President Muhammadu Buhari not to ease out this case of corruption but should immediately restore the integrity and image of our nation by allowing for a forensic investigation on the suspect.

Moreover, if this Kyari matter is not well handled, it will be a permanent stain on the reputation of our police, security system and our nation at large.

The PDP, therefore, asks President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to take in Abba Kyari for questioning and if found culpable, he should be handed over to the FBI.”

What you should know

  • Themoneymetrics reported earlier that U.S Court documents revealed that popular fraudster, Hushpuppi arranged to have a former business partner, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested by popular Police Commissioner, Abba Kyari after they scammed a Qatari businessman of $1 million.
  • Meanwhile, Abba Kyari reacted to the allegation contained in a US court affidavit claiming that Hushpuppi’s associate was arrested after his office was called about a potential case of threat to life.
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